If you want to explore the Malaysian countryside by day and indulge in the world-class cuisine of Kuala Lumpur by night, day trips are your answer. Kuala Lumpur is a fantastic home base for several fun adventures that take a day or less.
Here are our 9 favorite excursions around Kuala Lumpur.
• 1 hour from Kuala Lumpur
• Silverleaf Monkeys
• Panoramic Views
• Rich Historical Site
• LighthouseThe playful Silverleaf monkeys make Bukit Melawati one of the most entertaining historical sites in Malaysia. The Silverleaf monkeys are very safe, gentle and playful. Vendors sell bananas for feeding, but that’s not necessary. Many monkeys engaged and played with us with no offered food. If you’re lucky, you can see some of the adorable babies that have a distinctive red coat.
The site is on a tall hilltop, with panoramic views of the countryside. Historically, it was the perfect strategic location for a fort. The original site was built by Sultan Ibrahim in the 1700’s. You can explore the old fort walls, the lighthouse, the grounds, the royal graves, and the iconic cannons that point out toward a gorgeous Malaysian landscape. Today, it’s a perfect location to enjoy a gorgeous sunset. You can see the straits of Malacca, the Selangor river, some fishing villages, and the green hills.
• 3.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur
• World’s Oldest Rainforest
• Jungle Treks
• Canopy Walk – 1739 feet long, 132 feet high
• Shoot the Tembeling River rapids
• Visit Aboriginal Village in Rainforest
Taman Negara is a 130 million year-old rainforest and filled with fun adventures. There are jungle treks, animal spotting tours, the world’s longest canopy walk, waterfalls, boating the Tembeling river, and shooting the rapids. Our favorite event was visiting an aboriginal village. We learned how to make poison darts and shoot a real blowgun.
It’s a long drive from Kuala Lumpur, but it’s worth it. Our day started at 4am, and we had dinner in Kuala Lumpur at 8pm. You can definitely have a great adventure on a daytrip. There are also many accommodation options nearby, including a resort in the rainforest.
Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
• 1.75 hours from Kuala Lumpur
• Rescued Elephants
• NO Elephant Rides
• Elephant Feeding
• See Elephants Play in River
• Bathe Elephant in River
There are NO tourist elephant rides at Kuala Gandah. They are forbidden to protect the elephants. It seems odd because the elephants are so big and strong. Tourist elephant rides are actually very harmful to them. We’ve ridden in the past, so we were happy to learn this important lesson at Kuala Gandah.
Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary rescues elephants and gives them a spacious home in the Malaysian wilderness. Many of these elephants lost their natural habitat to Palm Oil plantations. Kuala Gandah cares for the elephants and raises funds by offering sustainable encounters with the elephants.
You can feed the elephants fresh fruit from behind a fence. They reach out with their trunks and take the fruit from your hand. You can watch the elephants play in the river and spray water from their trunks. And best of all, a limited number of people can bathe the elephants in the river.
Batu Caves Hindu Temple Near Kuala Lumpur
• 0.5 hour from Kuala Lumpur
• Hindu Temple Cave
• Huge Hindu Monuments
• Impressive Mammoth Cave
• Naughty but Entertaining Monkeys
• Cave System Tours
The Batu Caves are surreal. There is an old Hindu temple inside a vast limestone cave. The cave itself is actually the best feature, but the Hindu monuments are very impressive. The Lord Murugan statue is over 140 feet tall. It is Malaysia’s tallest statue and the second tallest Hindu statue in the world. Several other temples and massive monuments also surround the site. Getting to the Temple Cave can be challenging. There are 272 steps and hundreds of naughty monkeys along the way.
There is also a system of smaller caves with no religious use. Experienced guides lead several tours through these caves. The tours cater to all levels of difficulty. The most challenging tours include dark narrow crawls, bats, and takes about 4 hours.
This is the most convenient site to Kuala Lumpur.
• 3 hours from Kuala Lumpur
• Green Rolling Hills
• Romantic Charm of Farms, Gardens, and Butterflies
• Great Views
• Quaint Rustic Activities
The Cameron Highlands are great for a relaxing and/or romantic day trip in the countryside. It’s a perfect escape from busy Kuala Lumpur. The area is famous for its rustic charm. The gorgeous scenery is made up of tea plantations, strawberry fields, honeybee farms, gardens, and countless butterflies. Many fine restaurants offer stunning and immersive views. You can spend the day strolling the tea fields, picking strawberries, sampling fresh honey, and literally stopping to smell the roses.
• 1.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur
• Deer Encounters
• White Peacocks
• Python Holding
Deerland park is a small but surprisingly diverse animal park. There are a number of deer and a variety of other animals including exotic birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Some highlights are white peacocks, albino hedgehogs, and many snakes. You can hold the Pythons and lizards for free.
Kuala Selangor Nature Park
• 1 hour from Kuala Lumpur
• Preserved Wetlands
• Home to Endangered Species
• Eagle Feeding
• Fireflies Night Cruise
Kuala Selangor Nature Park is home to a lot of exotic wildlife. Touring the nature park is definitely worth the visit, but the coolest activities are on the Selangor river. Many sea eagles live along the river. There are eagle feeding boat tours daily. They scatter chopped meat on the water, and the eagles swarm and swoop down in a feeding frenzy. Very exciting.
There are also nightly firefly cruises. Millions of fireflies live in the mangroves surrounding the river. At night, their sparkles put on quite the show. The fireflies cruise is both a fun twilight boat ride and a natural spectacle. Very romantic.
Many seafood restaurants also lie along the Selangor river. The seafood is freshly caught and displayed in numerous tanks. Just choose and eat.
Selayang Hot Springs
• 0.75 hour from Kuala Lumpur
• Natural Hot Springs
• Relaxing Getaway from Busy City
• Filled with Diverse Locals
These natural hot springs are a chance to relax and meet some local residents. Malaysia’s diverse population is its best feature. At these hot springs, you’ll meet many Muslims, Hindus, and Chinese all soaking in the healing waters.
• 1.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur
• 3km Skyway Cable Car Ride– Asia’s longest
• Mountaintop views from 6000 feet elevation
• Tourist Funland of Resorts, Casinos, Theme Parks, and Nightlife
The Genting Highlands offer a mix of scenic natural beauty and blatant touristy fun. The highlands themselves are spectacular and refreshing. The best views are from the Skyway ride. At over 3km, it’s Asia’s longest cable car. Genting is not “authentic” Malaysia, but it is lots of fun. There are mountaintop resorts, theme parks, casinos, nightlife, and loads of great food.
* This article was originally posted at thetravelninjas blog